How do you understand what Bruno Latour means when he says, "The globe is not actually something which has any existence." at 46:59 https://t.co/CVgYmUHxsi

and, "the destruction of the image of the globe" https://youtu.be/4-l6FQN4P1c

and, "the Earth itself might not be a globe after all" http://www.bruno-latour.fr/node/700

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    See his interview, "globe" and "Earth" have very technical meanings:"My Gaia – which is, of course, Lovelock's Gaia – indicates a non-global, a non-total vision... Whereas the Moderns had the globe as a horizon in the Husserlian sense, now we are suddenly re-territorializing and re-grounding... When we were modernizing, we departed from the land in the direction of the globe. But now the globe has disappeared, we fully understand that the globe has been a fiction." – Conifold Jun 4 '18 at 17:20

Latour is adopting a provocatively paradoxical way of talking; he is using language to seize our attention. He is not a supporter of the Flat Earth Society. Essentially he is making a point (which one can assess for oneself) about globalisation :

For all that to function as a frame of reference, the elites themselves also had to believe in the existence of a world, of a globe, that had the potential to become a universally modernised planet, if only they were able to bring it about. It’s at this point that we have to combine commonplace analysis of the political sphere with that of another sphere entirely: the planet that has made its entrance into politics. The historic importance of COP21 was that it enabled us to become cognisant of an entirely different way of proceeding: this planet Earth does not in any way resemble the globe of globalisation. To put it bluntly: there is no planet corresponding to the Promised Land of globalisation. There has been a signalling error! And so those positions no longer need to take their bearings solely by means of the classical polarisation that ranges from local to global, from national to universal, from identity to the ‘wide open spaces’ of the global market. (http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/downloads/2016-01-3-TERRITORIES-GB.pdf - emphasis mine.)

I think it's this perspective on his remarks to which Conifold pointed in his Comment.


There is an entire chapter devoted to Bruno Latour in

Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science Authors Alan Sokal, Jean Bricmont Publisher St Martins Press (ny), 1999

The same book was also published as:

Intellectual Impostures Authors Jean Bricmont, Alan Sokal Publisher Profile Books, 2011

The titles themselves are suggestive enough of how Latour may be understood in general, but here is a quote from a review on Google Books.

In 1996, Alan Sokal published an essay in the hip intellectual magazine Social Text parodying the scientific but impenetrable lingo of contemporary theorists. Here, Sokal teams up with Jean Bricmont to expose the abuse of scientific concepts in the writings of today's most fashionable postmodern thinkers. From Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva to Luce Irigaray and Jean Baudrillard, the authors document the errors made by some postmodernists using science to bolster their arguments and theories. Witty and closely reasoned, Fashionable Nonsense dispels the notion that scientific theories are mere "narratives" or social constructions, and explored the abilities and the limits of science to describe the conditions of existence.

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    I find the expression "mere social construct" upsettingly funny, or funnily upseting. There is nothing "mere" in a social construct; a social construct isn't ontologically less real than a table or a rock. – Luís Henrique Jun 10 '18 at 14:25

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